False-positive Gram-stained smears.
The rate per 1,000 smears showing nonviable Gram-negative bacilli (false-positive smears) increased from a baseline of 10.8 to 38.5 following purchase of new culture-collection devices; the rate decreased to 8.0 following replacement of contaminated culture sets. False-positive reports led to changes in therapy for five patients. In addition to being sterile, commercial culture-collection devices should be certified by the manufacturer as being free of stainable microorganisms or as unsuitable for preparation of Gram-stained smears.
Hoke, CH; Batt, JM; Mirrett, S; Cox, RL; Reller, LB
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